Saturday, February 09, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 # 6

I am feeling a bit under the weather today but will attempt some cogent thoughts on the past week of national politics.

For much of it, the eyes of the nation have continued to focus on Virginia, where the Governor who was so embattled last week may hang on after all. It has everything to do with two serious allegations of sexual assault made against Democrat Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax dating back to 2000 and 2004. Beyond that, the third in line, the state's Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring has admitted that he also dressed in blackface as a college student in the early 80's as an homage to rapper Kurtis Blow. I suppose those are "The Breaks."

The irony of course is that Fairfax has retained the legal services of the firm that represented Brett Kavanaugh last year (when he was charged with acts that were far less detailed and substantiated) while one of the accusers is using the same lawyers as those that represented Susan Blasey Ford.

To many Republican, this is popcorn worthy stuff, especially since it may all be the result of Democrats turning on each other. There is a lot to unpack with all of this. If the allegations are true, than Mr. Fairfax is lucky he never went to prison and has no business being Lt. Governor of his state. He denies all wrongdoing however and I actually care about the truth. During the Kavanaugh saga, those on the left gave no real thought as to whether or not the allegations against him were definitely true, they simply wanted it to be true, to keep him off the Supreme Court. I do not know what Fairfax had to say specifically during this time, but he is likely to have sided with them. Now, the tables have turned, and the Democrats are in quite a pickle in regards to allegation of sexual assault .As revenge, many on the right will simply want it to be true or just enjoy the karma aspect of this, as a week after it looked like Fairfax was about to make history as the first African-American Governor of his state, he is now on the verge of impeachment, with even many Democrats feeling they have no choice but to abandon him.

I care about what the truth is in this and wonder if lie detector tests, while inadmissiable in court, could shed some light. Again, if Farifax ever forced himself on a woman, he needs to be thrown out of office (same as Trump, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and many others) but he is truly innocent and this is all an example of him being targeted politically, it would be an incredible miscarriage of justice, just as I felt about the unsubstantiated allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and others.

In other news, the State of the Union Address was held. Those who watched it, made up heavily of Trump supporters, said they really liked it, although at times it was outwardly conciliatory At other times, it was in your face/combative, and those who dislike Trump (including yours truly) did not like him any better. In the meantime, the deadline approaches to avoid another government shutdown. Finally, what was up with Nancy Pelosi's necklace? That could not have been on accident, right?

This weekend, two additional female U.S. Senators are declaring their Presidential candidacy (making the tally of active candidates 11-1 in terms of non straight white men.) Today, Elizabeth Warren kicked off her campaign with a rally in Massachusetts. No wonder I started feeling worse. She is clearly running as an unabashed champion of the left but continues to be majorly dogged by the fact that she had previously claimed to be "American Indian" while filling out forms. She had to apologize for that again this week, and in such a crowded field, something like that could continue to hamper her.

Tomorrow, in chilly Minnesota, Senator Amy Klobuchar will announce her candidacy. I have thought for a while that among all the female Democrat hopefuls, she could be the most electable, in terms of what is seen as a steady temperament and being willing to have friendly relations with the other side .This week though, a story came out alleging she is quite a difficult boss to her staff and perhaps not really as nice of a person as she wants to portray publicly. (Similar things have been said about Republican John Kasich.) Time will tell as to what extent Democrat primary voters will take these personality matters into consideration.

More Democrats (and hopefully one Republican) are all but certain to get into this race before too long. Donald Trump remains divisive and vulnerable and Democrats are licking their chops for a chance to run against him.

They really need to think long and hard though about their image nationally and if things such as the highly touted "Green New Deal" are going to help them or hurt them kick Trump from office.


Thursday, February 07, 2019

Super Bowl LII Result

Last year, it seemed like no defense was played in the Super Bowl. I was satisfied with the result though. This year, there was virtually no offense, and I found the game boring, and the result unsatisfactory. Maybe next year, there will  be a winning team that can play both offense and defense and perhaps win a title for the first time in years! I have one particular team in  mind.


From Atlanta, Georgia

New England Patriots (13-5) vs. Los Angeles Rams (15-3) L 1

Super Bowl Result: 0-1 (0%)
Overall Total Results - NOT PREDICTIONS 133-132 (50%)

Rams finish 15-4

New England Patriots win Super Bowl with record of 14-5



Saturday, February 02, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 # 5

The end of this week in politics sure took an unexpected turn.

There is a lot I could write about this Saturday but there is no way I am going to ever be able to cover it all with a weekly post. I could have written about the evolving Democrat field. Kamala Harris had a pretty impressive roll-out. Marianne Williamson and Cory Booker both jumped in the race. A lot of people have thoughts about the candidates' logos and visual branding. On the Republican side, former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake made it clear he will not challenge Donald Trump but will instead work as a CBS News pundit. It looks pretty unlikely that former Ohio Governor John Kasich will run in the primaries (hopefully he is still considering an Independent bid), so the spot for anti-Trump Republicans may go to recently reelected Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. There is also now the expectation that William Weld, the 75 year old former Governor of Massachusetts, who was the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee the last time around is about to jump into the Republican race. I do not know what kind of constituency he might have left, but hey, anybody but Trump!

Along those lines, billionaire ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz ,a lifelong Democrat, has decided he is not going to seek the nomination of the party, but is looking actively as running as a "centrist Independent." This led to Democrats basically freaking out and saying that he will simply serve to re-elect Trump. The backlash against Schultz was immense and may cause him to reconsider this whole politics thing. I do not know a ton about him, but I may be one of the only people in America who liked much of what he said this past week. It is very telling both that somebody like him, (a non quasi-socialist) no longer has a chance of winning that party's nomination or that the eventual Democrat nominee may be so vulnerable to losing votes in the center. Needless to say, it was a very bad "rollout" for Schultz but there is a long way to go. If my choices come down to Trump and a far-left Democrat, I will of course be looking for another option. I would prefer the center-right over the center-left, but as the saying goes, beggars cannot be choosers. It is far too early to assess for sure what would happen in a true three-way race or a true-four way race. I hope Mr. Schultz continues to keep all his options open.

The loser of the week was easily Virginia Governor Ralph Northam however. While not a Presidential contender, his activities certainly have those that are running for President talking about him and calling for him to step down. I have watched this story unfold over the past couple of days and am unaware of any politician's "damage control" press conference that ended as badly, with the exception of R. Budd Dwyer. (Don't bother to look it up. It's nasty.)

Early in the week, the Democrat Governor went on a radio show and talked about a proposed bill in Virginia that allow abortions in the third trimester of pregnancy, all the way up until birth. The physician turned politician was asked what would happen if a baby was about to be born. He said the child would be delivered, resuscitated if that is what the mother wanted, and then "made comfortable" while a "discussion was held." Whatever one thinks about the morality of abortion, how is what he described not infanticide or simply first-degree murder? It is the kind of absolutely unconscionable brutality that is now  being debated or passed in several states where Democrats hold power. Apparently, a life does not begin until a baby is sent home from the hospital. This is the kind of callous attitude that would make people once again, put aside all the legitimate concerns they have about Donald Trump and vote again for him, just to keep today's Democrats out of power. Those in that party need to think long and hard about these kind of issues. For his part, Northam said that what he meant did not get across in his statement, which would become a theme for him. As far as I am concerned, his words were quite clear and he deserved whatever he had coming politically.

Late yesterday afternoon, at the beginning of Black History Month, the medical school yearbook entry of Northam surfaced from 1984, when he was 25 years old. Considering all the incredible parsing of every possible word on the High School yearbook of now Justice Brent Kavanaugh from a similar time ,the yearbook of the 25 year old Northam had to be worth looking at. Amazingly enough, neither the media nor any of Northam's past political opponents had ever seen it. That is a shocking failure of oppo-research. Northam won elected as Governor in 2017 primarily over race-related issues, and nobody ever knew about his medical school yearbook in which among other photos, stood an image of a man in grotesquely stereotypical blackface next to someone in a KKK hood and outfit. Both appear to be holding beers.

Had this been a Republican political figure, (except Donald Trump whom his supporters will excuse literally anything for), it would have been immediate game over. Instead, many wondered how Democrats would respond. As the hours passed, Northam released a written statement and eventually a video in which he apologized and definitely said that he appeared in the photo, without saying which of the two men he was. The damage had been done though as just about every prominent candidate, including the leading Presidential contenders called on Northam to resign. If he were to do so, the Governorship would pass to Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, a young African-American politician, considered a rising star in the party. Northam, has not been seen as a national figure and he is ineligible to run for reelection anyway, so throwing him overboard just made sense for the Democrats and allowed them to claim the moral high ground.

As night turned into morning however, Northam had not resigned and was on the telephone telling allies he did not believe he was in the photograph. What? Why admit it was you yesterday then? Was it possible then that it could have been and now you are certain it is not? It just boggles the mind. Stories came forward about how facial recognition software might be introduced, but how do you do that for someone under a hood? The calls for resignation intensified and a crazy press availability was held in which an oddly calm and soft-spoken Northam stood next to his wife and denied he was in the photo. He said he had never seen this yearbook before and while he submitted the other pictures on it, had no idea how this racist one got on there. He said he "vividly remembered" not doing it, in part because he remembers, that very same year, that he dressed in blackface to honor Michael Jackson at a dance contest. (Hours before this I posted on a blog that as a six year old that year, I dressed as Michael Jackson with one glove and sunglasses but not blackface. Tons of white kids did. Everybody knew blackface would have been inappropriate, especially back when the King of Pop was indeed still black.) At the press conference, Northam seemed to make a point of saying he won the dance contest, could do the Moonwalk, and even looked to contemplate demonstrating it until his wife told him it would be inappropriate. While the tone of voice was different, the whole thing was Trumpian. Northam just does not seem to get it. He admitted it was he in the photo because he felt under pressure to do so, and now denies it was him, but claims he did basically do the same thing that year anyway. It's similar to how Trump after apologizing for the infamous Access Hollywood tape, now reportedly tells people that it is not him on the video. Northam also did not seem to have a remotely sensible answer for why his college yearbook had him with a nickname of "Coonman."

By this afternoon, it was clear this issue was far beyond what a 25 year old medical student may or may not have done in the mid 80's but about how an under siege politician responded to and continues to respond to a situation involving their own political survival. Nobody really doubt that Northam is going to have to resign eventually (at this point he will be impeached if he does not) so it's nothing less than sad that he is trying to hang on in the pathetic way he is. He needs to go and Democrats have handled this far better than Republicans did with Trump after the Access Hollywood story came out. The former minstrel Michael Jackson needs to look at the Man in the Mirror and "make that change."

Questions remain such as who exactly leaked this photo and how long they have had it. Was it someone on the right angry at Northam's "make it comfortable" comments or someone in his own party who saw the damage done and decided to "abort" his political career. In any event, quite a "discussion" was held about the political life of Ralph Northam, with a unifying conclusion that he needs to "Beat It."

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Super Bowl LII

The wind chill feels like it is about 50 degrees below zero in Chicago today, but on Sunday, two teams will play indoors for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

As much as I enjoyed this NFL regular season, I cannot remember ever being less "excited" about watching a Super Bowl. I thought my decision last year to root for the Philadelphia Eagles was an odd one, but this feels even more so.

So, yeah, I am going to root for the Rams, even though they were completely gifted the win in the NFC Championship Game by a bad call, and even if the pro-football fans in Los Angeles are not exactly "long-suffering." I just prefer to see Kraft, Belichek, and Brady lose again. Most likely though, they will win. Over the past 17 years, the sports fans of Boston and of New England have won numerous championships, including at least one in every major North American sport. The Red Sox literally just won the World Series. While the Celtics and Bruins are not going to win the title this year, they still are good teams. When is AOC or someone like her going to call for redistribution of sports wealth?

NOT PREDICTIONS

Overall Results: 133-131 (50%)

From Atlanta, Georgia

New England Patriots (13-5) vs. Los Angeles Rams (15-3)

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 #4

Around and around, the news cycle turns, with developments on the emerging Presidential candidate field, the government shutdown, and perhaps most crazily, a viral video from last weekend.

Catholic High School kids from Kentucky went to Washington D.C. to participate in the annual March for Life. (Kudos to them for that.) Some had MAGA hats later on during the trip (kids can be dumb, but free speech and all) and with video cameras rolling we had a bit of a national Rorsach test. The media, but especially left-wingers on Twitter, were given a false impression on what happened and we were told that a baby-faced kid smiling was akin to an act of "racial violence." This is what the left's hatred for anything related to Trump brings up, (not that Trump is not horrific). When the fuller story emerged, many in the media and online offered some degree of retraction and apology. Good for them I guess, it's not something that the Trumpist crowd seems to ever do. As the week went on though, and it was clear how the kids had been mistreated, those who love Trump are wanting to use them as human political shields to distract from the very bad month the current President tends to have.

Roger Stone was arrested yesterday and upon bailing out of jail, gave the Nixonian Salute, of course. The force used to take him into custody was perhaps excessive, but I think Stone, a man who prides himself on his fetishes and need for media attention, would not have wanted it any other way.Those who love Trump say the indictment is nothing. Those who studied the actual indictment see the picture of the Trump campaign attempting to collude with Russia to be all the clearer. I do not think yesterday was a good day for Mr. Stone or Mr. Trump. 

In a shock to many... ok, maybe three people, former West Virginia State Senator Robert Ojeda became the first Democrat Presidential hopeful to drop out. I guess there was just not that much room in the field for a candidate who admitted to voting for Donald Trump in 2016.

At the moment, by my count, there are eight active Democrat campaigns occurring. Only one of these candidates, John Delaney, is a straight white male. Some others of this group may jump into the field (there are rumors that Bernie Sanders is a go), but for now, he's the only one, joining the diversity (and in some cases anonymity) or Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris. The entrance of Harris, California's junior Senator, is perhaps the most significant candidate news of the week. She did not even attempt to go about the smokescreen of an "exploratory committee." So, currently, there are four female Democrat members of Congress seeking the White House, with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar expected to jump in as well . Four male Senators have certainly run for President at the same time before, but considering that there are just 25 female Senators, there are some pretty good odds these candidates are going to be running into each other in the Senate Ladies Room, when they are on Capitol Hill.

In other news, the shutdown is over, at least for 3 weeks. Donald Trump promised his fans a "Wall", instead they got a Cave, as Trump capitulated completely to Nancy Pelosi. Ann Coulter and many others are besides themselves. Some continue to ridiculously try to spin this to Trump's favor, but the bottom line is that the polls were completely against Trump, whom after all started off this whole mess by declaring he would be proud to take the blame for the shutdown. Pelosi won the standoff over the State of the Union postponement, and with airports starting to feel massive pressure due to the shutdown, Trump was put into a box.

For some who have liked him, he may never appear the same again. A "broken man?" Time will tell, but I agree completely with those who have come to the conclusion that Nancy Pelosi brought him to his figurative knees... like a dog. There will be other kerfuffles and fights, but it is now clear that with enough pressure, Donald J. Trump, the man who declared several bankruptcies can be made to fold.

Republicans take note. If you want the best chance of keeping the White House in 2020 and keeping the far left Democrats from having total control, Trump must be dumped. He can be made to quit.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

NFL Conference Championship Game Results

So, both games went to Overtime and were pretty entertaining, but I was not able to follow the action as closely as I would have otherwise, because I was at a family birthday celebration. I saw much of what happened but could not really hear any of the commentary. The results of these two games leave me feeling a bit blah about the Super Bowl. This is not the matchup I would have wanted to see, but it is what it is.

In regards to the NFC Championship, I cannot help but feel the Chicago Bears could have potentially defeated either team and been on their way to the big game. If only we could have made that Field Goal!

Officiating is certainly in the spotlight. I did not see the egregious non-call for pass interference that was committed against a New Orleans Saint (and former Northern Illinois Huskie.) Apparently, that easy call would have all but assured a New Orleans win. Instead, I was amazed that the Rams tied it up with a long field goal to send it to Overtime. The Saints won the coin toss but the legendary Drew Brees threw an interception. Then, the Rams kicker made a 57 yard field goal to send his team to Atlanta in two weeks. Very hard to believe and I realize now how robbed Saints fans have to feel.

For whatever reason, I have always sort of liked the Kansas City Chiefs as an AFC team during my life as an NFL fan. They have been waiting for 1970 to make a Super Bowl and seemingly were finally closer than ever this year, hosting the championship game for the first time. The franchise has suffered so many heartbreaking home playoff losses before and I was just sort of fearing that would happen again. In a way, they remind me of the pre-2016 Chicago Cubs, so I know how their fans feel. They had a couple chances to have completed a comeback and wrapped this game up, but their defense is suspect and some 4th quarter calls seemed to go the Patriots' way. There was a roughing the passer call that I and many others felt should not have been called. When all is said and done, Tom Brady proved that love him or hate him, he really is the GOAT, and drove his team for a game winning Touchdown. I had to listen to most of the drive on the radio before catching the final play. Kansas City never even got a chance to possess the ball.

The Chiefs have a bright future and will get other opportunities. If they make it to the Super Bowl in short order, I may be rooting against them though in favor of the Bears.

The two luckier teams advanced, but I cannot help but feel if there were robot officials, we would be talking about New Orleans vs. Kansas City.

Instead, it's another showdown between Boston and Los Angeles, as if those fan bases are hungering to win another championship in a major sport.

NOT PREDICTIONS- although they basically were

1. Rams (14-3) at Saints (14-3) L 1
2. Patriots (12-5) at Chiefs (13-4) L 2

Championship Game Results: 0-2 (0%)
Overall Results: 133-131 (50%)

Chiefs finish 13-5

Saints finish 14-4

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 # 3

The new year is firmly underway as the news cycles whirl about and headlines are plentiful.

Most of the stories this week were not about potential challengers but about the incumbent in the White House and the continuing government shutdown that has him at loggerheads with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

While polls are showing that the public might not yet  be feeling too much pain as a whole from the shutdown, most have placed blame with Donald Trump and Republicans. The President and the Speaker also engaged in a demonstration of power politics this past week, which many may describe as childish.

First Pelosi sent a letter which in effect dis-invited Trump from delivering the annual State of the Union Address later this month. It was claimed that the shutdown and the resulting lack of paychecks for Secret Service, etc, would make it too difficult to secure the House chamber for the big event where the federal government (minus the infamous "lone survivor") is all theoretically together in one place. Claiming it was all or mostly about security concerns was probably a bit disingenuous by Pelosi. She simply did not want to give him the prime time exposure at this time. I can also envision people aligned with Trump if the event was not postponed asking for it to be so because of security and how "dangerous" it would be for Trump to be in a room with all those leftists, (including some Muslim Democrats in Congress.) Not many people outside of political junkies would miss this event. If a deal is not struck to re-open the government, it remains to be seen if Trump's message will instead be given in the Senate chamber, at a MAGA rally, the Oval Office, delivered in writing, or Tweeted line by line at 4 am.

A bit of over 24 hours later, Trump responded by cancelling the CODEL military transportation that Pelosi and other House Democrats were literally minutes away from departing on to Afghanistan and other locales. He wrote her a snarky letter and suggested she fly commercial. Democrats claim that by exposing this trip put the security of Americans at risk. This was a pretty petty move by Trump but still, there is the issue of whether it was appropriate for Pelosi to be leaving the country for several days while the shutdown continues. A Trump Administration trip to Davos was also subsequently cancelled, although Melania Trump was allowed to fly to Mar-A-Lago as scheduled.

The behavior of both parties in the Belway shows how much it is needed for a grown-up to emerge, but there does not seem to be many of them in leadership these days. Today, Trump, perhaps feeling political pressure, made a speech from the White House in which he offered a deal to re-open the government in exchange from over 5 billion dollars in "physical barriers" along the southern border, as well as a lot of money for other things, in exchange for a three year extension for DACA and TPS recipients. Apparently, the idea of declaring a "national emergency" and attempting to fund "The Wall" himself will not happen.

It is interesting though that Trump is now proposing ideas that he had previously threatened to veto. A deal had been in place for 20 billion dollars in "wall" money in exchange for lifetime protection from deportation of the "Dreamers." Frankly, I think it is sad these issues are combined and are being used as a bargaining chip in the shutdown battle. Those who were brought to the country as small children through no fault of their own, and who meet conditions, should definitely be given legal status permanently . There also should be money allocated for greater border security although the entire concept of "The Wall" was always a ridiculous, bad-faith, waste of money. In theory though, a wall is not "immoral", just unfortuante.

Not surprisingly, Pelosi immediately rejected Trump's offer today. While she is never going to have strong favorability numbers nationally, she is popular within her party and Democrats do not want to see her back down. I would be surprised if the public does not continue to give the lion's share of the blame to Trump on this matter. In the meantime, many hard working Americans have been furloughed or having to work without receiving a paycheck. The longer this goes on, there is nothing good that can come of it.

We also saw various and frankly incredible headlines this week about how the FBI had opened an investigation to determine if Trump was working for Russia. While no "smocking gun" was found, it is amazing that such questions persist. Trump's fans though claim this is a sign the FBI was out of control and overly political. There may be at least a speck of truth to that, but overall, I trust the FBI.

Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani continued to make things worse for his client by claiming that he never suggested that the Trump campaign had not colluded with Russia (many had claimed that all along) but simply that Trump himself had not.  This was a pretty substantial admission, considering so many people under suspicion may be related to Trump. Sadly, I believe a large number of Trump supporters would not care one bit if he conspired with the Russian government in an attempt to defeat Hillary Clinton.

Late this week, a sensational story in BuzzFeed suggested that there was proof (while it was not offered) that Trump had personally asked his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow deal. Suborning perjury would pretty much guarantee impeachment proceedings (justifiably so), but on Friday evening, the office of the Special Prosecutor issued a short but rare public statement in which they said that some of BuzzFeed's claims were not accurate. Trump even had to praise Mueller's team for "clearing him" on the matter.

BuzzFeed has had credibility issues in the past and may have even more now, though they claim they are sticking by their story. Cohen's anticipated upcoming Congressional testimony may prove to be interesting in regards to what he says about that matter such as Trump specifically asked him to commit a crime or if he did so himself out of loyalty to Trump.

Pushing back against this story though by the Special Counsel should make it clear that they are merely conducting a "witch hunt" (which is the opinion affirmed by Trump's new Attorney General nominee, who we now know is an old field of the special prosecutor.) So, put one in the bank who are willing to stand by the integrity and seriousness of Robert Mueller, who is currently as big of a player as anybody else in Campaign 2020.

Friday, January 18, 2019

NFL Conference Championship Games

Not technically predictions, but I am going to go with both home teams...

Overall Results: 133-129 (51%)

1. Rams (14-3) at Saints (14-3)
2. Patriots (12-5) at Chiefs (13-4)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

NFL Division Playoff Results

NOT PREDICTIONS

 1. Colts (11-6) at Chiefs (12-4) W 1
 2. Cowboys (11-6) at Rams (13-3) L 1
 3. Chargers (13-4) at Patriots (11-5) L 2
 4. Eagles (10-7) at Saints (13-3) W 2

Divisional Playoff record: 2-2 (50%)
Overall Results: 133-129 (51%)

Eagles finish 10-8

Colts finish 11-7
Cowboys finish 11-7

Chargers finish 13-5

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 #2

What is now the longest government shut-down in American history continues as both Donald Trump and the Democrats' Congressional leaders refuse to budge.  Earlier this week, the current President gave his first ever Oval Office address to the nation and was pretty bad at it. Immediately, after, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer followed, and were probably even worse. This is the best America has to offer?

So, as the fight continues over "The Wall" and what exactly will constitute a "Wall", we reaching the point where Trump will declare extraordinary executive powers to build "The Wall" without Congress's financial authorization as part of a "national emergency." Needless to say, had Barack Obama tried that, conservatives would have called for him to be jailed. If Trump does it though, many on the right will applaud, completely oblivious to the extent a future liberal President might go to use that same power to suit their own domestic goals. The reality though is that the "national emergency" route is a cop-out of sorts. It will immediately get tied up in the courts, and no "Wall" will begin, as the government will then re-open such as Chuck and Nancy wish. Trump's people probably see that as his best option at this point.

It is no secret that literally dozens of Democrats want to be that next President who just might use executive authority in a sweeping away. Some Democrats though have begun to announce that they will not run in 2020. Among them are former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, the bronze winner of sorts for Democrats from the last cycle. He has instead called for now former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke to run as a new generation Democrat. In future weeks, as O'Rourke's plans become more clear, we will look into his political celebrity and serious standing towards the front of the pack if he runs. California billionaire Tom Steyer also announced he will not run and will presumably continue running tv ads calling for Trump's impeachment.

Other Democrats are signaling they are definitely in though, through a variety of ways. On the last day of 2018, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren announced via a pre-packaged video that she was starting an Exploratory Committee. Basically, she is in, although her video and subsequent "livestream" of her awkwardly drinking a beer in her kitchen have been widely panned. While Warren has already gone to Iowa as a candidate, her political standing is believed to have taken a major hit after the revelation that despite her previous claims, she really does not have very much Native American blood after all.

This afternoon, one candidate entered the race in a traditional sort of way. An outdoor rally was held in San Antonio, as the city's former Mayor Julian Castro announced he is indeed running "for the future." He also served as Obama's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, though few Democrats could probably physically tell him apart from his twin brother Joaquin, the Congressman from the Texas city.

I think Castro will have an uphill battle in his quest for the nomination. While he is a prominent Hispanic Democrat, the last I had heard was that he does not even speak Spanish. I would be shocked if he has not taken intensive lessons to learn the language since. His candidacy will be complicated more than anybody else is O'Rourke, who hails from El Paso, Texas gets in. The Anglo O'Rourke definitely does speak Spanish and just ran a competitive statewide U.S. Senate race. Many people believe the politician with the childhood nickname of "Beto" is Latino himself.

By the time January is over, other Democrats will have declared their intentions. It sure looks like controversial Hawai'i Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is in as well as Washington Governor Jay Inslee. John Delaney, now a former Maryland Congressman has literally been running for over a year and few even know it.

How long will it take for some of the older Democrats in the field to make their final decisions? Those include Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has received all sorts of negative headlines about how his progressive 2016 team apparently had rampant sexual harassment of female staffers. Will billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City Mayor who nominally served as a Republican, make a bid for the nomination of the party he has since rejoined? Is anyone out there actually clamoring for Hillary Clinton?

There are two  other names worth mentioning this early on as the field is just beginning to take shape. Signs are clear that California Senator Kamala Harris, who is both African-American and Indian-American is putting together a campaign. She will be formidable, at least on paper. How she will perform with voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina remains to be seen.

Then, there is former Vice President Joe Biden. At 76 years old, stories in the media continue to come out suggesting that he is indeed very serious about running. Can someone like him still be nominated by his party? I think there will be some obstacles in his way if he runs, but based on name recognition at the moment, he is the "front-runner." I also believe that despite what Donald Trump and his fans may suggest, he may be the candidate they least want to run against.

Friday, January 11, 2019

NFL Divisional Playoffs

NOT PREDICTIONS

Overall Results: 131-127 (51%)

 1. Colts (11-6) at Chiefs (12-4)
 2. Cowboys (11-6) at Rams (13-3)
 3. Chargers (13-4) at Patriots (11-5)
 4. Eagles (10-7) at Saints (13-3)

Thursday, January 10, 2019

2018-2019 College Football Bowl Game Results

The best moments for me were Northwestern's comeback victory and Clemson thumping Alabama.

The scariest moment was Bevo, the Texas Longhorn attacking Uga, the Georgia Bulldog. It was a good thing Uga had the speed to scramble out of bounds!

RIP Tyler Trent


 NOT PREDICTIONS

1. Celebration Bowl W 1
Atlanta, GA

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State Aggies vs. Alcorn State Braves

2. New Mexico Bowl W 2
Albuquerque, NM

North Texas Mean Green vs. Utah State Aggies

3. Cure Bowl W 3
Orlando, FL

Tulane Green Wave vs. Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

4. Las Vegas Bowl  L 1
Whitney, NV

# 21 California State, Fresno Bulldogs vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

5. Camellia Bowl W 4
Montgomery, AL

Georgia Southern Eagles vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles

6. New Orleans Bowl L 2
New Orleans, LA

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers

7. Boca Raton Bowl L 3
Boca Raton, FL

Alabama at Birmingham Blazers vs. Northern Illinois Huskies

8. Frisco Bowl W 5
Frisco, TX

San Diego State Aztecs vs. Ohio Bobcats

9. Gasparilla Bowl L 4
Tampa, FL

Marshall Thundering Herd vs. South Florida Bulls

10. Bahamas Bowl L 5
Nassau, Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Florida International Panthers vs. Toledo Rockets

11. Potato Bowl W 6
Boise, ID

Western Michigan Broncos vs. Brigham Young Cougars

12. Birmingham Bowl W 7
Birmingham, AL

Memphis Tigers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

13. Armed Forces Bowl W 8
Fort Worth, TX

Houston Cougars vs. United States Military Academy at West Point Black Knights

14. Dollar General Bowl L 6
Mobile, AL

State University of New York at Buffalo Bulls vs. Troy Trojans

15. Hawai'i Bowl W 9
Halawa, HI

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. Hawai'i at Manoa Rainbow Warriors

16. First Responder Bowl- cancelled due to weather
Dallas, TX

Boston College Eagles vs. # 25 Boise State Broncos

17.  Quick Lane Bowl L 7
Detroit, MI

Minnesota, Twin Cities Golden Gophers vs. Georgia Institute of Technology Yellow Jackets

18. Cheez-It Bowl W 10
Phoenix, AZ

California, Berkeley Golden Bears vs. Texas Christian Horned Frogs

19. Independence Bowl W 11
Shreveport, LA

Temple Owls vs. Duke Blue Devils

20. Pinstripe Bowl L 8
New York, NY

Miami Hurricanes vs. Wisconsin-Madison Badgers

21. Texas Bowl W 12
Houston, TX

Baylor Bears vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

22. Music City Bowl L 9
Nashville, TN

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Auburn Tigers

23. Camping World Bowl W 13
Orlando, FL

# 16 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. # 20 Syracuse Orange

24. Alamo Bowl W 14
San Antonio, TX

# 24 Iowa State University of Science and Technology Cyclones vs. # 13 Washington State Cougars

25. Peach Bowl L 10
Atlanta, GA

# 10 Florida Gators vs. # 7 Michigan Wolverines

26. Belk Bowl L 11
Charlotte, NC

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Virginia Cavaliers

27. Arizona Bowl L 12
Tuscon, AZ

Arkansas State Red Wolves vs. Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack

28. Cotton Bowl L 13
Arlington, TX

# 2 Clemson Tigers vs. # 3 Notre Dame du Lac Fighting Irish

29. Orange Bowl L 14
Miami Gardens, FL

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. # 4 Oklahoma Sooners

30. Military Bowl L 15
Annapolis, MD

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Hokies

31. Sun Bowl W 15
El Paso, TX

Leland Stanford Junior Cardinal vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

32. Redbox Bowl L 16
Santa Clara, CA

Michigan State Spartans vs. Oregon Ducks

33. Liberty Bowl W 16
Memphis, TN

# 23 Missouri Tigers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

34. Holiday Bowl W 17
San Diego, CA

# 22 Northwestern Wildcats vs. # 17 Utah Utes

35. Gator Bowl W 18
Jacksonville, FL

North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. # 19 Texas A&M Aggies

36. Outback Bowl L 17
Tampa, FL

# 18 Mississippi State University of Agriculture and Applied Science Bulldogs vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

37. Citrus Bowl L 18
Orlando, FL

# 14 Kentucky Wildcats vs. # 12 Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions

38. Fiesta Bowl L 19
Glendale, AZ

# 11 Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Tigers vs. # 8 Central Florida Knights

39. Rose Bowl L 20
Pasadena, CA

# 9 Washington Huskies vs. # 6 Ohio State Buckeyes

40. Sugar Bowl L 21
New Orleans, LA

# 15 Texas at Austin Longhorns vs. # 5 Georgia Bulldogs

 41. National Championship W 19
Santa Clara, CA

 # 2 Clemson Tigers vs. #1 Alabama Crimson Tide

Results: 
19-21 (48%)

Monday, January 07, 2019

NFL Wildcard Weekend Results

NOT PREDICTIONS

1. Colts (10-6) at Texans (11-5)  W 1
2. Seahawks (10-6) at Cowboys (10-6) W 2
3. Chargers (12-4) at Ravens (10-6) L 1
4. Eagles (9-7) at Bears (12-4) L 1

Wildcard round Results: 2-2 (50%)
Overall Results: 131-127 (51%)

Seahawks finish 10-7
Ravens finish 10-7

Texans finish 11-6

Bears finish 12-5

As a fan of the Chicago Bears, this was a pretty tough loss. I thought they had a great chance to win this game and they indeed should have. It all came down to a Field Goal attempt by what has been an inconsistent Kicker all season. Many feared that such a scenario could cost us a playoff game and that is indeed what happened. That position must be solidified for the future.

The big picture is that this was a great NFL season for the Bears, even if much of the fun is now gone from the remainder of the tournament. I did not expect them to necessarily win the Super Bowl this season, but it would have been good to see them get a step or two closer. All this was accomplished though with a rookie Head Coach, a virtual rookie at Quarterback, and the youngest team in the NFL.

The Bears are light years ahead of where they were last year at 5-11 and the year before that at 3-13. After four consecutive last place division finished, the Bears did take the NFC North and look poised to do so again for perhaps four years in a row.

My experience as a lifelong Chicago sports fan is that when our teams ultimately win the title, it comes with some postseason disappointment first, which only serves as a learning experience, a callous of sorts, making the ultimate victory all the sweeter.

The Chicago Bears are headed in the right direction and I will be patient.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 #1

This last year of the decade brings with it the beginning of a fierce battle to determine who will lead America in the next decade.

As for me, I can enjoy the "contest" from the perspective of a political junkie, but as someone who cares about the future of the country and the world at large, these continue to be somewhat disheartening times. Normally, by New Years Day, I am certain whom I want to be the next President, but it may take some time before I know specifically whom I will be supporting.

One thing is clear though. I will not be supporting reelection efforts of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Never.

It also a near certainty, perhaps in the 99 percent range, that whomever the Democrats nominate will support positions and have an agenda that is inconsistent with my beliefs and values and thus I will be unable to support them either.

Thus, in early January of 2019, I am left hoping that somehow, someway the Grand Old Party will go in a proud new direction, away from Trump and Trumpism. I am far from convinced that the incumbent will actually be renominated, but if he runs, that has to be the assumption. To that end, I will be supporting anybody who enters the Republican fray who stands the best chance of garnering support from anti-Trump Republicans. After all, our numbers may one day increase.

Since it is nearly impossible to dislodge a sitting President through the primary process, I also know how necessary it will be for at least one person on the "center-right", to start taking steps to run as an Independent candidate in the 2020 general election. These efforts in regards to building political networks and securing ballot access will of course need to be made completely separate  of the nomination activities in both major parties or any third party effort.

Next Saturday, we can start looking at some of the names of those who are already running or might run. The field for Democrats will be massive, perhaps over 30. Allies of the incumbent President are asking the Republican National Committee to officially "rig" the primary process to make it impossible to launch a primary challenge against Trump. Clearly, they fear what might happen.

The democratic process will continue to unfold though and Americans of all political leanings who wish for a change in the Oval Office will get a chance to make their voices hold. It may not be a perfect system, but it is better than anything envisioned anywhere else.

While most Americans continue to be pleased with the economy, the situation in Washington D.C. sure seems chaotic. The government is "shut down" and a new Democrat majority has just taken over the House of Representatives, while a slightly larger Republican majority continues to rule the Senate.

One of those Republican Senators is a freshman from Utah named Mitt Romney. In the past, three times actually, I have written at the beginning of January in the year before a Presidential election to state my desire that he be the President.

This year, he is saying that he will not run, and I really do not think he intends to, but I hope he might. As mentioned, someone sure needs to challenge the unacceptable incumbent and represent conservatism. A recent op-ed by Romney, in which he stated support for aspects of the White House's policy record and agenda, but continued disappointment with the personal character of the President and in the way he approaches American leadership has the Trump apologists exercised in a very negative way. Senator Romney really said nothing he had not said before though, which is what makes all this the more remarkable. He also did not say anything that an extremely large number of mainstream Republicans say privately. Clearly, some are very worried about the potential of Romney challenging Trump. He needs to continue to challenge him in one way or another.

As the long campaign begins, both major parties have a lot of inward looking to do. Partisans on both sides are inappropriately cocky. Both the 2016 result and the 2018 midterm results show just how unacceptable large number of voters in various parts of the country consider "the other side" and how they are willing to vote for just about anything or anybody as a means of opposition.

Democrats will need to consider the risks of nominating somebody very far to the left in 2020 and Republicans will have to ask themselves if Donald Trump is truly the strongest possible person they can put up, and what it means for the party in the long-term by allowing him to dominate it. He also happens to be a person who just might be in very serious legal difficulty in the months ahead.

However Americans wind up voting next year, it is my main hope that more people feel like they have something to vote for and not merely against.

Friday, January 04, 2019

NFL Wildcard Weekend

Let the anticipation begin!

NOT PREDICTIONS

Regular Season Results: 129-125 (51%)

1. Colts (10-6) at Texans (11-5)
2. Seahawks (10-6) at Cowboys (10-6)
3. Chargers (12-4) at Ravens (10-6)
4. Eagles (9-7) at Bears (12-4)

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

2018 Election Wrap-up and Predictions Review

Happy New Year!

The 2020 Presidential cycle has unofficially begun, but first, we must take a look back at the midterms of '18. I could have done this several weeks ago, but have been putting it off. For one thing, there is the somewhat unprecedented incident of a spoiled Congressional election in North Carolina, in which no candidate has been declared a winner. Much like an NFL game that ends in a tie, that one will thus not count in my "score", but I will make a prediction once again before what is almost certain to be a special election.

As I look at these results and below attempt to explain some of the reasoning behind the inevitable wrongly-called races, I once again feel the urge to brag about just how good I am this.

Gubernatorial races-

Florida

I called this race Tossup (D) and I have to admit to being somewhat surprised that Republican Ron DeSantis managed to win it narrowly, in spite of most polls showing him slightly behind.

Still though, immediately after the Democrat primary, I said that the nomination of Andrew Gillum was a huge backfire for the party. While he was an energetic campaigner who attracted national attention, his ideology was too far to the left for Florida after all. DeSantis ran a fairly poor campaign, tying himself very tightly with Donald Trump, but in Florida at least, it was not fatal. That is a sign that even as other states swing away from Republicans, the Sunshine State may be one where Democrats have fundamental statewide problems . In looking at exit polls, I was pretty surprised that DeSantis did as well with African-American voters as he did, relatively speaking (and better than the U.S. Senate nominee did against a white opponent in a race that was assumed to be better for Republicans.) It has been speculated that support for charter schools caused DeSantis to make modest inroads with black voters and that might have made the difference.

I think another Democrat candidate would have won the general election, but that is moot at this point. Since Election Night, DeSantis has already taken steps to reach out beyond his political base and to put some distance between himself and Trump.Nonetheless, his campaign team deserves a ton of credit for finding a path to win this race, in spite of their candidate.

Gubernatorial Results: 35-1 (97%)

Past cycles-
2006: 35-1 (97%)
2008: 10-1 (91%)
2010: 34-3 (92%)
2012: 9-2 (82%)
2014: 32-4 (89%)
2016: 9-3 (75%)
_____________________________________________________________________________

 U.S. Senate races-

Arizona

I predicted Martha McSally would become a U.S. Senator and it turned out I was right! Alas though, my electoral prediction of her winning a Tossup was wrong though as she was very narrowly defeated by Democrat Kirsten Sinema in a race that was not called for days after. The Republican had been ahead on Election Night and for a couple days afterward. Now, interim Senator Jon Kyl has indeed decided to resign and newly reelected Republican Governor Doug Ducey chose McSally to replace him, in a somewhat controversial move. With a spirit of grace though, Sinema, the winner of the election will become the "Senior Senator", even though McSally could have technically claimed seniority and the two women, who were Congressional colleagues, turned bitter Senate campaign rivals, will be colleagues once again, this time in the upper chamber.

McSally's initial defeat in Arizona should be disheartening for Republicans. She was a rising political star, who determined it was necessary to run as closely to Donald Trump as possible in order to get the nomination. This was in stark contrast to her previous approach to him two years ago. Indeed, she won the primary, but might have done so regardless. Enough Arizona Republicans though were turned off by her political posturing and becoming a staunch Trump apologist, who for example, refused to acknowledge John McCain in the campaign, and did so somewhat tepidly after he passed away. This allowed Sinema, her wacky leftist Green Party politics of her youth aside, to be seen as the "moderate" in the race and got just enough votes from pro-McCain, Eventi-Trump Republicans to win.

Indeed it is worth mentioning that incumbent Jeff Flake probably would have been reelected in Arizona, where a Democrat had not won a Senate seat in decades if not for being completely abandoned by the pro-Trump faction of the party. Now, Flake will be gone, to the satisifcation of many on the right, but his replacement is far, far more to the left than he was.

It is worth nothing that a decorated military veteran like McSally was even unable to gain traction on Sinema over her youthful opposition to the War in Afghanistan perhaps in part because that same position was been and still is held by Trump himself.

McSally will have to run again in two years  and hopefully will  have learned the lesson of her defeat. After the election, perhaps with her future in mind, she refused to play along with the Trump/RNC strategy of claiming fraud in Arizona and she graciously conceded to Sinema. Weeks later, it has been reported that McSally personally apologized to Cindy McCain for snubbing her late husband and former political mentor as a condition for being appointed to the vacant Senate seat he had held for decades.

Florida

Here, I predicted Democrat incumbent Senator Bill Nelson would defeat current Republican Governor Rick Scott in a Tossup. Instead, it was Scott who unseated Nelson, but not without some controversy, and a recount. Indeed, the ballot design in heavily Democrat Broward County (which is completely the fault of the Democrats who run the elections there) might have caused many people to skip over this race altogether and potentially cost Nelson the victory (and myself a correct prediction.)

In many ways, Scott is not an ideal political candidate, but in three consecutive cycles now he has found a way to eke out victory in competitive Florida. One factor in this race seems to be the outreach his campaign did with Latino voters in the state. That caused the candidate to get votes that not many other Republicans did this cycle. Whatever it took, this was an impressive victory for Scott, a sign that Nelson was past his prime as a campaigner, and yet another point of concern for Florida Democrats moving forward.

In both of these high-profile Florida races, I should have perhaps given more credit to former Governor Jeb Bush, who remained loyal to the GOP in both cases, for his ability to successfully persuade anti-Trump Republicans, such as himself, to vote as he did.

Senator-Elect Scott will not be taking office on Thursday though, as every other recently elected Member of Congress will. He will instead wait for another few days until his term of Governor is formally over. Apparently, he did not want his hand-picked (and second) Lt. Governor the distinction of formally being Governor of Florida, however briefly.


U. S Senate Results: 33-2 (94%)


Past cycles-
2006: 31-2 (94%)
2008: 34-1 (97%)
2010: 34-3 (92%)
2012: 28-5 (85%)
2014: 36-0 (100%)
2016: 31-3 (91%)
__________________________________________________________________________

U.S. House races-

First, let's get North Carolina 9 out of the way. I predicted that Democrat Dan McCready would win a Tossup over Republican Mark Harris. The vote count showed that Harris very narrowly won though and McCready conceded. I was prepared to tally this as an incorrect prediction.

However, evidence came forth to suggest that Republican allies of Harris, particularly in one county, might have engaged in shenanigans involving absentee ballots. Furthermore, this might have also happened in the Republican primary, when Harris narrowly unseated the GOP incumbent.

State election officials refused to certify the results and the Democrat withdrew his concession. Needless to say, the new Democrat U.S. House majority will not seat Harris. It looks like a new election will have to be held, and with all these developments, it might be very tough for Harris to have a chance of winning and Republicans might need to find another candidate somehow. For the purpose of this "scorecard" though, this district did not count.

Incorrect Republican Predictions-

CA 21

I had said that GOP incumbent David Valadao's hold on this seat was "Likely" and the initial vote count appeared that he was indeed reelected. However, in California, the votes keep coming and as November became December, Democrat T.J. Cox inched ahead and was declared the winner. This was a seat that Valadao has seemingly had a good hold on, but it did go heavily against Trump in 2016, and in just about all of those districts nationwide, former ticket-splitters voted to punish Trump's party. The results for Republicans in California House races was especially brutal.

CA 39

For this open seat, I predicted a Tossup win for Republican Young Kim, who was seeking to become the first Korean-American Congresswoman. As in many California districts, the immediate aftermath of the election looked like she had won, but the final votes gave the win to Democrat Gil Cisneros. Hillary Clinton had narrowly won a majority of this district in 2016 and perhaps seeing a very tough race ahead of him, the longtime Republican incumbent retired and even an impressive candidate of his party could not survive the headwinds of the year.

FL 26

Republican Carlos Curbelo was among the rare group of Republicans to never attempt to embrace Donald Trump. I thought he could hold on in a Tossup but he lost by a few thousand votes to Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. In his day after press conference, Trump attacked Curbelo by name (along with others) for having been defeated due to not embracing him. That is an interesting take, as Trump was virtually blown out in this district in 2016. Curbelo only narrowly lost, and perhaps Trump acolytes witholding could have been a reason, but there was no way that the incumbent would have possibly come as close as he did in this heavily Latino district by being a Trump backer. Hopefully, Congressman Curbelo's career in politics is not finished.

GA 6

After winning a nationally spotlighted special election, I had thought that Karen Handel had a Leans Republican advantage for a full-term. That was not meant to be though, as she was defeated by an African-American female first time candidate with a compelling biography. This highly-educated, affluent suburban Atlanta district was once the home of Newt Gingrich and the epicenter of Republican strength in the South. Now, like white-collar suburbs throughout the country, voters are acting to punish Republicans. A very worrying sign for the GOP under Trump indeed.

NJ 3

I predicted GOP incumbent Tom MacArthur would win in a Tossup over Democrat Andy Kim, but the reverse narrowly happened. This is another example of late ballots switching an outcome. Even in a district where Trump had taken 51 percent, it was rough sledding for Republicans in New Jersey who now hold just one U.S. House seat. MacArthur was a leader of Republican moderates who tried to work on a compromise solution to replace Obamacare and that contributed to his defeat.

NY 11

This is probably the second largest surprise of the cycle. I had this one tagged as Leans Republican, but incumbent Dan Donovan lost to Democrat Max Rose. In this Staten Island and Brooklyn based district, Trump had taken 53 percent against Hillary Clinton, but urban districts demonstrated different behavior in 2018 than rural districts. Trump had used his influence in the primary to help Donovan easily defeat a comeback attempt by the ex-felon who had held the seat before him, but then that association contributed to a surprise Democrat win.

NY 19

I was extremely iffy about giving this prediction to Republican John Faso in a Tossup and was not too surprised when he was defeated by Democrat Antonio Delgado. Nonetheless, it was an incorrect position and proof that even I somewhat slightly underestimated the Democrat "wave" in the House.

OK 5

Honestly, nobody really saw this coming. Despite my Likely Republican prediction (and frankly people might have said I was being too cautious) incumbent Congressman Steve Russell was unseated by Democrat Kendra Horn in a district Trump had won with 53 percent. My how things can change without Hillary Clinton as an opponent for a Republican candidate. Even in urban/suburban Oklahoma City, voters turned against a Republican.

SC 1

The people of Charleston, South Carolina will be represented, at least for two years, by a Democrat. This was a definite upset though I had the race as merely Leans Republican. For all his past personal controversies, conservative Congressman Mark Sanford had a lock on this seat until Donald Trump came along. The persistent critic of the President was defeated in the Republican primary, with Trump's ardent support, by Republican Katie Arrington, who was as an unflinching MAGA-ite .Then lo and behold, she lost to Democrat Joe Cunningham. While Cunningham might have been among the most impressive Democrat politicians seeking office in 2018, this loss should never have happened for Republicans. Mark Sanford is gone, but so is the seat.

TX 32

Republican Pete Sessions had been around Congress for a long time and I thought he could win another term in a Tossup, with it being Texas and all, but instead, he was defeated by Democrat Colin Allred, a young, African-American, almost NFL player. While I did give the Democrats a victory over an incumbent in suburban Houston, I also should have given them this one in suburban Dallas. The writing on the wall for Republicans involving the short and long-term future of the party as long as it stands behind DJT could not be clearer.

UT 4

I was perhaps most disappointed by this result, and the final outcome was not known for weeks after the election, with the lead basically going back and forth a couple times. Even in rock-ribbed Utah, Republican Mia Love, one of two African-American House Republicans, was unseated. She lost to Democrat Ben McAdams, a onetime close personal friend, who it should be noted had achieved political success previously in the district. I thought Love could win in a Tossup but perhaps that was wishful thinking. She also is among those who never embraced Donald Trump, who had "won" this district with only 39 percent two years earlier. Trump attacked her by name at a White House podium the day (with the final result still very much in doubt) saying she did not show him enough "love." Shockingly, he attacked her for having asked her to help get one of her constituents released from captivity in Venezuela. The fact that the President of the United States considered such a thing to be on par with the need for political favors or support says all there is to know about the current occupant of the office.

VA 2

A similar story here. I predicted Republican Scott Taylor would win a Tossup, but he was defeated instead by Democrat Elaine Luria. Taylor had some campaign ethics issues in this race and despite the long-time GOP history of the district, it had basically been tied at the Presidential level in 2016 and moved even further away from the party in the next cycle.

WA 8

Had there been more polling on this district, I might have gone the other way, but I predicted Republican Dino Rossi would in a Tossup, keep an open GOP seat. After all, Rossi deserved to win something after so many high-profile tries! Alas though, the winner was Kim Schrier, who won fairly easily. The voters in highly-educated and fairly affluent suburban Seattle are not into Trumpism.

Incorrect Democrat Predictions-

KS 2

In this open district, I predicted that Democrat Paul Davis would win a Tossup. Instead, the plurality winner was Republican Steve Watkins. Problems for Republicans were clearly evident elsewhere in Kansas in 2018, but the party's strength was enough to hold the district. It was noteworthy that it was even considered vulnerable.

MN 1

Here, I predicted Democrat Dan Feehan would prevail in a Tossup to keep the seat in party hands with the incumbent on the way to being elected Governor. Instead, it was Republican Jim Hagedorn, a somewhat perennial candidate, whose father once held the seat, who was the victor by less than one percentage point. Despite it's ties to the DFL though, this was a district that Trump took 53% of in 2016. It was closer this time, but there are indications that districts that Trump did well in, continue to mostly stand by him and have increasing suspicion about all Democrats.


U.S. House Results: 419-15 (97%)

Past cycles-
2006: 31-2 (94%)
2008: 34-1 (97%)
2010: 34-3 (92%)
2012: 28-5 (85%)
2014: 36-0 (100%)
2016: 31-3 (91%)
______________________________________________________________________________

Grand Total Results: 487-18 (96%)


Past Cycles Grand Total:
2006: 482-22 (96%)
2008: 462-19 (96%)
2010: 482-27 (95%)
2012: 452-27 (94%)
2014: 494-13 (97%)
2016: 469-12 (98%)

Monday, December 31, 2018

NFL Week 17 Results

NOT PREDICTIONS

1. Dolphins (7-8) at Bills (5-10) W 1
2. Falcons (6-9) at Buccaneers (5-10) W 2
3. Cowboys (9-6) at Giants (5-10) W 3
4. Panthers (6-9) at Saints (13-2) L 1
5. Jets (4-11) at Patriots (10-5) L 2
6. Jaguars (5-10) at Texans (10-5) W 4
7. Lions (5-10) at Packers (6-8-1) W 5
8. Eagles (8-7) at Redskins (7-8) L 3
9. Chargers (11-4) at Broncos (6-9) L 4
10. Raiders (4-11) at Chiefs (11-4) W 6
11. Bears (11-4) at Vikings (8-6-1) W 7
12. Browns (7-7-1) at Ravens (9-6) L 5
13. 49ers (4-11) at Rams (12-3) L 6 L 6
14. Bengals (6-9) at Steelers (8-6-1) L 7
15. Cardinals (3-12) at Seahawks (9-6) L 8
16. Colts (9-6) at Titans (9-6) L 9

Week 17 Results: 7-9 (44%)
Overall Results: 129-125 (51%)

Cardinals finish 3-13

Raiders finish 4-12
Jets finish 4-12
49ers finish 4-12

Buccaneers finish 5-11
Jaguars finish 5-11
Giants finish 5-11

Bills finish 6-10
Bengals finish 6-10
Lions finish 6-10
Broncos finish 6-10

Packers finish 6-9-1

Dolphins finish 7-9
Panthers finish 7-9
Redskins finish 7-9
Falcons finish 7-9

Browns finish 7-8-1

Vikings finish 8-7-1

Titans finish 9-7

Steelers finish 9-6-1

Friday, December 28, 2018

NFL Week 17 Games

NOT PREDICTIONS

Overall Results: 122-116 (51%)

1. Dolphins (7-8) at Bills (5-10)
2. Falcons (6-9) at Buccaneers (5-10)
3. Cowboys (9-6) at Giants (5-10)
4. Panthers (6-9) at Saints (13-2)
5. Jets (4-11) at Patriots (10-5)
6. Jaguars (5-10) at Texans (10-5)
7. Lions (5-10) at Packers (6-8-1)
8. Eagles (8-7) at Redskins (7-8)
9. Chargers (11-4) at Broncos (6-9)
10. Raiders (4-11) at Chiefs (11-4)
11. Bears (11-4) at Vikings (8-6-1)
12. Browns (7-7-1) at Ravens (9-6)
13. 49ers (4-11) at Rams (12-3)
14. Bengals (6-9) at Steelers (8-6-1)
15. Cardinals (3-12) at Seahawks (9-6)
16. Colts (9-6) at Titans (9-6)

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

NFL Week 16 Results

NOT PREDICTIONS

1. Redskins (7-7) at Titans (8-6) W 1
2. Ravens (8-6) at Chargers (11-3) L 1
3. Bengals (6-8) at Browns (6-7-1) L 2
4. Buccaneers (5-9) at Cowboys (8-6) L 3
5. Vikings (7-6-1) at Lions (5-9) L 4
6. Bills (5-9) at Patriots (9-5) L 5
7. Packers (5-8-1) at Jets (4-10) L 6
8. Texans (10-4) at Eagles (7-7) L 7
9. Falcons (5-9) at Panthers (6-8) L 8
10. Giants (5-9) at Colts (8-6) W 2
11. Jaguars (4-10) at Dolphins (7-7) L 9
12. Rams (11-3) at Cardinals (3-11) L 10
13. Bears (10-4) at 49ers (4-10) W 3
14. Steelers (8-5-1) at Saints (12-2) L 11
15. Chiefs (11-3) at Seahawks (8-6)  L12
16. Broncos (6-8) at Raiders (3-11) L 13

Week 16 Results: 3-13 (19%) - still can't complain about this football season
Overall Results: 122-116 (51%)


Friday, December 21, 2018

NFL Week 16 Games

NOT PREDICTIONS

Overall Results: 119-103 (54%)

1. Redskins (7-7) at Titans (8-6)
2. Ravens (8-6) at Chargers (11-3)
3. Bengals (6-8) at Browns (6-7-1)
4. Buccaneers (5-9) at Cowboys (8-6)
5. Vikings (7-6-1) at Lions (5-9)
6. Bills (5-9) at Patriots (9-5)
7. Packers (5-8-1) at Jets (4-10)
8. Texans (10-4) at Eagles (7-7)
9. Falcons (5-9) at Panthers (6-8)
10. Giants (5-9) at Colts (8-6)
11. Jaguars (4-10) at Dolphins (7-7)
12. Rams (11-3) at Cardinals (3-11)
13. Bears (10-4) at 49ers (4-10)
14. Steelers (8-5-1) at Saints (12-2)
15. Chiefs (11-3) at Seahawks (8-6)
16. Broncos (6-8) at Raiders (3-11)

Thursday, December 20, 2018

NFL Week 15 Results

NOT PREDICTIONS

1. Chargers (10-3) at Chiefs (11-2)   L 1
2. Texans (9-4) at Jets (4-9) W 1
3. Browns (5-7-1) at Broncos (6-7) L 2
4. Packers (5-7-1) at Bears (9-4) W 2
5. Lions (5-8) at Bills (4-9) W 3
6. Buccaneers (5-8) at Ravens (7-6) W 4
7. Cardinals (3-10) at Falcons (4-9) L 3
8. Raiders (3-10) at Bengals (5-8) W 5
9. Titans (7-6) at Giants (5-8) W 6
10. Dolphins (7-6) at Vikings (6-6-1) L 4
11. Redskins (6-7) at Jaguars (4-9) L 5
12. Cowboys (8-5) at Colts (7-6) W 7
13. Seahawks (8-5) at 49ers (3-10) W 8
14. Patriots (9-4) at Steelers (7-5-1) W 9
15. Eagles (6-7) at Rams (11-2) W 10
16. Saints (11-2) at Panthers (6-7) L 6

Week 15 Results: 10-6 (63%)
Overall Results: 119-103 (54%)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

NFL Week 15 Games

NOT PREDICTIONS

Overall Results: 109-97 (53%)

1. Chargers (10-3) at Chiefs (11-2)
2. Texans (9-4) at Jets (4-9)
3. Browns (5-7-1) at Broncos (6-7)
4. Packers (5-7-1) at Bears (9-4)
5. Lions (5-8) at Bills (4-9)
6. Buccaneers (5-8) at Ravens (7-6)
7. Cardinals (3-10) at Falcons (4-9)
8. Raiders (3-10) at Bengals (5-8)
9. Titans (7-6) at Giants (5-8)
10. Dolphins (7-6) at Vikings (6-6-1)
11. Redskins (6-7) at Jaguars (4-9)
12. Cowboys (8-5) at Colts (7-6)
13. Seahawks (8-5) at 49ers (3-10)
14. Patriots (9-4) at Steelers (7-5-1)
15. Eagles (6-7) at Rams (11-2)
16. Saints (11-2) at Panthers (6-7)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

NFL Week 14 Results

NOT PREDICTIONS

1. Jaguars (4-8) at Titans (6-6) W 1
2. Jets (3-9) at Bills (4-8) L 1
3. Giants (4-8) at Redskins (6-6) W 2
4. Saints (10-2) at Buccaneers (5-7) L 2
5. Patriots (9-3) at Dolphins (6-6) W 3
6. Ravens (7-5) at Chiefs (10-2) W 4
7. Colts (6-6) at Texans (9-3) L 3
8. Falcons (4-8) at Packers (4-7-1) L 4
9. Panthers (6-6) at Browns (4-7-1) W 5
10. Broncos (6-6) at 49ers (2-10) L 5
11. Bengals (5-7) at Chargers (9-3) L 6
12. Lions (4-8) at Cardinals (3-9) L 7
13. Steelers (7-4-1) at Raiders (2-10) L 8
14. Eagles (6-6) at Cowboys (7-5) L 9
15. Rams (11-1) at Bears (8-4) W 6
16. Vikings (6-5-1) at Seahawks (7-5) L 10

Week 14 Results: 6-10 (38%)
Overall Results: 109-97 (53%)

Saturday, December 08, 2018

2018-2019 College Football Bowl Games

Next Saturday, Bowl Season will be underway. For some odd reason, I have come to enjoy college football more recently than I ever did previously, although after several of these games, it can get to be a bit much.

It is fun though to at least check out a few minutes from each game or highlights of those that I will not be able to see at all. The teams listed in bold font will be those that I want to win, although as I always say, I do not have a strong rooting interest in most cases. I just want to see competitive games that go down to the wire. This is a pretty exciting time though in the Chicagoland area (as long as one is not a fan of the hapless University of Illinois.)  Undefeated Notre Dame is in the Playoff and while many feel they will be over-matched in their first game, are one of four teams with a chance to win the National Championship. Then, the Northwestern Wildcats, "Chicago's Big Ten Team" actually won a Big 10 Division title (albeit by far the weaker of the two divisions) and while they did not make it to the Rose Bowl, they and their coach are easy to root for.

Finally, my alma mater Northern Illinois, continues to be far better than they ever were when I was a student. This year, they won all sorts of close games in the MAC (while being competitive with some big name schools on their schedule) and won a division, even though they were lethargic and lost their last two regular season games. In their conference championship game, they looked out of their depth and were down 29-10 early in the Second Half. What followed was an exciting comeback though, as they took the lead in the final minute and won 30-29. For that, they are headed to what is likely to be a sparsely attended Bowl Game in the middle of the week, but all Huskies should still be excited.

What follows are a list of the games. The rankings will be taken from the official College Football Playoff standings.

1. Celebration Bowl
Atlanta, GA

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State Aggies vs. Alcorn State Braves

2. New Mexico Bowl
Albuquerque, NM

North Texas Mean Green vs. Utah State Aggies

3. Cure Bowl
Orlando, FL

Tulane Green Wave vs. Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

4. Las Vegas Bowl
Whitney, NV

# 21 California State, Fresno Bulldogs vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

5. Camellia Bowl
Montgomery, AL

Georgia Southern Eagles vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles

6. New Orleans Bowl
New Orleans, LA

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers

7. Boca Raton Bowl
Boca Raton, FL

Alabama at Birmingham Blazers vs. Northern Illinois Huskies

8. Frisco Bowl
Frisco, TX

San Diego State Aztecs vs. Ohio Bobcats

9. Gasparilla Bowl
Tampa, FL

Marshall Thundering Herd vs. South Florida Bulls

10. Bahamas Bowl
Nassau, Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Florida International Panthers vs. Toledo Rockets

11. Potato Bowl
Boise, ID

Western Michigan Broncos vs. Brigham Young Cougars

12. Birmingham Bowl
Birmingham, AL

Memphis Tigers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

13. Armed Forces Bowl
Fort Worth, TX

Houston Cougars vs. United States Military Academy at West Point Black Knights

14. Dollar General Bowl
Mobile, AL

State University of New York at Buffalo Bulls vs. Troy Trojans

15. Hawai'i Bowl
Halawa, HI

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. Hawai'i at Manoa Rainbow Warriors

16. First Responder Bowl
Dallas, TX

Boston College Eagles vs. # 25 Boise State Broncos

17.  Quick Lane Bowl
Detroit, MI

Minnesota, Twin Cities Golden Gophers vs. Georgia Institute of Technology Yellow Jackets

18. Cheez-It Bowl
Phoenix, AZ

California, Berkeley Golden Bears vs. Texas Christian Horned Frogs

19. Independence Bowl
Shreveport, LA

Temple Owls vs. Duke Blue Devils

20. Pinstripe Bowl
New York, NY

Miami Hurricanes vs. Wisconsin-Madison Badgers

21. Texas Bowl
Houston, TX

Baylor Bears vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

22. Music City Bowl
Nashville, TN

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Auburn Tigers

23. Camping World Bowl
Orlando, FL

# 16 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. # 20 Syracuse Orange

24. Alamo Bowl
San Antonio, TX

# 24 Iowa State University of Science and Technology Cyclones vs. # 13 Washington State Cougars

25. Peach Bowl
Atlanta, GA

# 10 Florida Gators vs. # 7 Michigan Wolverines

26. Belk Bowl
Charlotte, NC

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Virginia Cavaliers

27. Arizona Bowl
Tuscon, AZ

Arkansas State Red Wolves vs. Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack

28. Cotton Bowl
Arlington, TX

# 2 Clemson Tigers vs. # 3 Notre Dame du Lac Fighting Irish

29. Orange Bowl
Miami Gardens, FL

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. # 4 Oklahoma Sooners

30. Military Bowl
Annapolis, MD

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Hokies

31. Sun Bowl
El Paso, TX

Leland Stanford Junior Cardinal vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

32. Redbox Bowl
Santa Clara, CA

Michigan State Spartans vs. Oregon Ducks

33. Liberty Bowl
Memphis, TN

# 23 Missouri Tigers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

34. Holiday Bowl
San Diego, CA

# 22 Northwestern Wildcats vs. # 17 Utah Utes

35. Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, FL

North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. # 19 Texas A&M Aggies

36. Outback Bowl
Tampa, FL

# 18 Mississippi State University of Agriculture and Applied Science Bulldogs vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

37. Citrus Bowl
Orlando, FL

# 14 Kentucky Wildcats vs. # 12 Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions

38. Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, AZ

# 11 Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Tigers vs. # 8 Central Florida Knights

39. Rose Bowl
Pasadena, CA

# 9 Washington Huskies vs. # 6 Ohio State Buckeyes

40. Sugar Bowl
New Orleans, LA

# 15 Texas at Austin Longhorns vs. # 5 Georgia Bulldogs

41. National Championship
Santa Clara, CA

Cotton Bowl Winner vs. Orange Bowl Winner

Notre Dame over Oklahoma
Notre Dame over Alabama
Clemson over Oklahoma
Clemson over Alabama

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

NFL Week 14 Games

Overall Results: 103-87 (54%)

1. Jaguars (4-8) at Titans (6-6)
2. Jets (3-9) at Bills (4-8)
3. Giants (4-8) at Redskins (6-6)
4. Saints (10-2) at Buccaneers (5-7)
5. Patriots (9-3) at Dolphins (6-6)
6. Ravens (7-5) at Chiefs (10-2)
7. Colts (6-6) at Texans (9-3)
8. Falcons (4-8) at Packers (4-7-1)
9. Panthers (6-6) at Browns (4-7-1)
10. Broncos (6-6) at 49ers (2-10)
11. Bengals (5-7) at Chargers (9-3)
12. Lions (4-8) at Cardinals (3-9)
13. Steelers (7-4-1) at Raiders (2-10)
14. Eagles (6-6) at Cowboys (7-5)
15. Rams (11-1) at Bears (8-4)
16. Vikings (6-5-1) at Seahawks (7-5)

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

NFL Week 13 Results

NOT PREDICTIONS

1. Saints (10-1) at Cowboys (6-5) W 1
2. Ravens (6-5) at Falcons (4-7) W 2
3. Panthers (6-5) at Buccaneers (4-7) W 3
4. Bears (8-3) at Giants (3-8) L 1
5. Bills (4-7) at Dolphins (5-6) L 2
6. Colts (6-5) at Jaguars (3-8) L 3
7. Browns (4-6-1) at Texans (8-3) W 4
8. Broncos (5-6) at Bengals (5-6) L 4
9. Rams (10-1) at Lions (4-7) L 5
10. Cardinals (2-9) at Packers (4-6-1) W 5
11. Chiefs (9-2) at Raiders (2-9) W 6
12. Jets (3-8) at Titans (5-6) W 7
13. 49ers (2-9) at Seahawks (6-5) L 6
14. Vikings (6-4-1) at Patriots (8-3) W 8
15. Chargers (8-3) at Steelers (7-3-1) L 7
16. Redskins (6-5) at Eagles (5-6) W 9

Week 13 Results: 9-7 (56%)
Overall Results: 103-87 (54%)

Saturday, December 01, 2018

41: Mission Completed

No President of the United States has lived a longer life than George Herbert Walker Bush did and likely none as fulfilling. At the age of 94, his time on Earth has ended, and while the news of late last night was not a tremendous surprise, it still feels somewhat surreal, for all that he meant to the country and how I viewed him throughout my own life. An era continues to pass, but the outpouring of respect and emotion that is being given to President Bush now and in the days ahead should serve as a reminder for how he lived, the example he provided, and inherent contrast we cannot help but notice.

For some reason, I became interested in the unfolding 1988 Presidential campaign as a child and was rooting for the then Vice President to prevail. I remember watching parts of the convention, the debates, and  thirty years to the month before last night's news, working on an "exit poll" for my elementary school newspaper among those actually voting in my school's cafeteria. People in my neighborhood seemed to prefer Dukakis, at least at the hour I was asking them their preferences, but I woke up the next morning relieved to hear that George Bush was going to be President.

His swearing-in as President the next January was piped into our classrooms via the school's intercom and I remember so much about those four years, from the Berlin Wall coming down, to the victory in Desert Storm, to the scary images of the President becoming ill in Japan, to Dana Carvey's enduring impression on Saturday Night Live. By the time he ran for reelection, I was confused and disappointed that relatively so few Americans shared my enthusiasm for the incumbent and admiration for his inherent decency and quiet strength. A three-way election saw just over 37 percent of Americans vote the way I would have, but the President accepted the result with grace and humility. In a High School classroom, just after finishing a Final exam, I remember a television in a nearby room showing the swearing-in of the new President, somebody I knew could never measure up to George Bush, especially on the matter of character. Nowadays. all sorts of people will say that Bush 41 was probably the most successful one-term President in our history.

Politics became exciting in the next few years for many in the GOP who liked the Bush Family. George W. became Governor of Florida, and on his second try, Jeb was elected Governor of Florida. Their proud parents reveled in their success. As the 2000 cycle began, I was an early supporter of another man named George Bush and never wavered in my support of our 43rd, through political ups and downs, for nearly a decade. Most recently, I was surprised when Jeb Bush attempted to become the third member of his family to win the White House. While I was not very confident in how it would turn out, he was clearly the best candidate in that field to be President. The voters in the Republican Party chose to go in a different direction away from him and away from several others in that field who had much in common with George H.W. Bush, and I feel the Republican Party and the country itself has been worse off because of it.

While political trends and eras come and go though, George H.W. Bush was at the center of America's most successful political dynasty. The son of a United States Senator himself, George Bush succeeded in business, not on his family name, but on his own initiative, and then made his entry intp politics. He did not win every race, but his public service and loyalty to the country brought him to the highest office in the land. He then saw his two oldest sons become Governors of large states, with the eldest being a two-term President, who was lucky enough to have both his parents alive the entire time. Even now, a fourth consecutive generation Bush holds statewide office as George Bush's eldest grandchild, and namesake, George P. Bush was recently reelected to his second term as Texas Land Commissioner. The last public photo of the 41st President was of him casting his vote for his grandson.

Throughout his life, he was taught humility by his mother and the discouragement of bragging. Still though, George Bush proved he could be an aggressive political fighter when it called for it. He had already more than proved his mettle in war and the claims that were made of his being a "wimp" before become President were of course ludicrous.  He fought hard to hold and keep high office, but whether in victory or defeat, always put the well-being of the country first. He also valued friendships his entire life, which led to a very close relationship with Bill Clinton, the man who defeated him in a sometimes ugly campaign, after both men left the White House, and a recent closeness with Barack Obama, who was among his last visitors in Texas. The current President, who has of course said very nice words about the recently departed this past day in both a (ghost) written statement and in public remarks was by most accounts not someone that George H.W. Bush liked very much. Still, he was asked to attend the funeral of his predecessor on behalf of the nation he currently leads. In 2016, George H.W. Bush was among the anti-Trump Republicans who even voted for Hillary Clinton to be President, something that neither I nor his own two sons in the political arena could bring themselves to do. Out of all the votes that Secretary Clinton received in 2016, she should perhaps be most honored by that of George H.W. Bush.

I could seemingly go on for hours lauding the legacy and inspiration of George H.W. Bush. I would also that in anything I write, I could be remotely as eloquent as the words he spoke upon accepting the Republican Presidential nomination in August of 1988 at the New Orleans convention. Peggy Noonan is largely credited wit having drafted the speech, but the words spoken were quintessential Bush and captured his character and worldview. Beyond the well known "Read My Lips" pledge, which would become part of his political undoing, he spoke of a "kinder, gentler, nation" and the uniqueness of American action for goodness through a "thousand points of light." Not long ago, a political who currently holds office scoffed at the now trademark line of sorts, but it is clear what a thousand points of light means and how all of those, and many others, are what has always made America great.

As a very young man, George Bush, who left his High School graduation to volunteer to serve his country in World War II, nearly lost his life in the war. His passing is another reminder that the "Greatest Generation" grows smaller by the day. At the convention speech though, he recalled how when he was a torpedo bomber pilot, he was given "missions" to complete and how he saw his life through public service in the decades afterwards as missions to be completed.

He fought for his country, he served, he built, he led, as his words from the podium resonated and in a rare moment of "bragging", but a necessary one, he made clear that he was "that man" who was needed to sit at the desk as President of the United States. He declared he would work to bring about prosperity, opportunity, and peace throughout America and the world. An underdog at that point in the campaign, he wound up winning big and did his best to live up to the promise and then accepted the results when enough of the same voters chose to go in a different direction.

His retirement was eventful, even outside the political careers of his children, and filled with time with his very large family and some jumps out of airplanes, which were really about exorcising some ghosts from the war in which he lost his two crew mates, as he survived to live a long and prosperous life.

George Bush's final years saw him facing increasing health challenges and the prospect of facing life without his beloved Barbara. The longest married couple in Presidential history were parted earlier this year. While it was said that he still wanted to make it to 100 and beyond, it seemed likely that the couple would not be apart for too long. We can hope that they are reunited (along with daughter Robin), together once again.

As America once again approaches a new decade, we are in need of many more "points of light" who will honor the legacy of GHWB through public service and private decency. Even as we might fight vigorously for our values and against those who threaten them, either foreign or domestic, America could surely stand to be a bit kinder and gentler as well.

I hope that in his final hours, the 41st President of the United States realized that he completed every mission he had been given and that the country he loved and served his entire life will carry on in the same spirit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

NFL Week 13

Overall Results: 94-80 (54%)

1. Saints (10-1) at Cowboys (6-5)
2. Ravens (6-5) at Falcons (4-7)
3. Panthers (6-5) at Buccaneers (4-7)
4. Bears (8-3) at Giants (3-8)
5. Bills (4-7) at Dolphins (5-6)
6. Colts (6-5) at Jaguars (3-8)
7. Browns (4-6-1) at Texans (8-3)
8. Broncos (5-6) at Bengals (5-6)
9. Rams (10-1) at Lions (4-7)
10. Cardinals (2-9) at Packers (4-6-1)
11. Chiefs (9-2) at Raiders (2-9)
12. Jets (3-8) at Titans (5-6)
13. 49ers (2-9) at Seahawks (6-5)
14. Vikings (6-4-1) at Patriots (8-3)
15. Chargers (8-3) at Steelers (7-3-1)
16. Redskins (6-5) at Eagles (5-6)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

NFL Week 12 Results

Week 12

NOT PREDICTIONS

1. Bears (7-3) at Lions (4-6) W 1
2. Redskins (6-4) at Cowboys (5-5) W 2
3. Falcons (4-6) at Saints (9-1) L 1
4. Browns (3-6-1) at Bengals (5-5) L 2
5. 49ers (2-8) at Buccaneers (3-7) L 3
6. Jaguars (3-7) at Bills (3-7) W 3
7. Raiders (2-8) at Ravens (5-5) W 4
8. Seahawks (5-5) at Panthers (6-4) W 5
9. Patriots (7-3) at Jets (3-7) L 4
10. Giants (3-7) at Eagles (4-6) L 5
11. Cardinals (2-8) at Chargers (7-3) W 6
12. Dolphins (5-5) at Colts (5-5) W 7
13. Steelers (7-2-1) at Broncos (4-6) W 8
14. Packers (4-5-1) at Vikings (5-4-1) L 6
15. Titans (5-5) at Texans (7-3) L 7


Week 12 Results: 8-7 (53%)
Overall Results: 94-80 (54%)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

NFL Week 12 Games

Overall Results: 86-73 (54%)

NOT PREDICTIONS

1. Bears (7-3) at Lions (4-6)
2. Redskins (6-4) at Cowboys (5-5)
3. Falcons (4-6) at Saints (9-1)
4. Browns (3-6-1) at Bengals (5-5)
5. 49ers (2-8) at Buccaneers (3-7)
6. Jaguars (3-7) at Bills (3-7)
7. Raiders (2-8) at Ravens (5-5)
8. Seahawks (5-5) at Panthers (6-4)
9. Patriots (7-3) at Jets (3-7)
10. Giants (3-7) at Eagles (4-6)
11. Cardinals (2-8) at Chargers (7-3)
12. Dolphins (5-5) at Colts (5-5)
13. Steelers (7-2-1) at Broncos (4-6)
14. Packers (4-5-1) at Vikings (5-4-1)
15. Titans (5-5) at Texans (7-3)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

NFL Week 11 Results

Week 11

NOT PREDICTIONS

1. Packers (4-4-1) at Seahawks (4-5) W 1
2. Bengals (5-4) at Ravens (4-5) L 1
3. Cowboys (4-5) at Falcons (4-5) L 2
4. Buccaneers (3-6) at Giants (2-7) W 2
5. Steelers (6-2-1) at Jaguars (3-6) W 3
6. Texans (6-3) at Redskins (6-3) W 4
7. Titans (5-4) at Colts (4-5) L 3
8. Panthers (6-3) at Lions (3-6) W 5
9. Broncos (3-6) at Chargers (7-2) W 6
10. Raiders (1-8) at Cardinals (2-7) W 7
11. Eagles (4-5) at Saints (8-1) L 4
12. Vikings (5-3-1) at Bears (6-3) W 8
13. Chiefs (9-1) at Rams (9-1) L 5

Week 11 Results: 8-5 (62%)
Overall Results: 86-73 (54%)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

NFL Week 11 Games

NOT PREDICTIONS

Overall Results: 78-68 (53%)

1. Packers (4-4-1) at Seahawks (4-5)
2. Bengals (5-4) at Ravens (4-5)
3. Cowboys (4-5) at Falcons (4-5)
4. Buccaneers (3-6) at Giants (2-7)
5. Steelers (6-2-1) at Jaguars (3-6)
6. Texans (6-3) at Redskins (6-3)
7. Titans (5-4) at Colts (4-5)
8. Panthers (6-3) at Lions (3-6)
9. Broncos (3-6) at Chargers (7-2)
10. Raiders (1-8) at Cardinals (2-7)
11. Eagles (4-5) at Saints (8-1)
12. Vikings (5-3-1) at Bears (6-3)
13. Chiefs (9-1) at Rams (9-1)